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placeholder New altar, numerous renovations at
Holy Spirit

Gift of Giving

New president is a
first for St. Vincent de Paul of Alameda County

Local charities
deliver holiday
season wish lists

Help retired
religious weather
financial future

Supporting elderly religious is work
of the heart,
honorees say

Deeper look at statistics about women's religious orders


Pilgrimage takes us
into our faith
in a profound, transformational way

Pax Christi
Assembly inspired
by panelists,

Coptic deacon
fights secularism
to reach youths

Financial Services

Have a conversation about long-term care with your parents

Making this
Christmas season bright, and
affordable for everyone

How to save
money on pet care

Holiday Guide

Bishop's Vineyard
at the Cathedral

'VatiLeaks' 2015: Books claim
resistance to pope's
finance reform

Fremont pastor
pens a book on
humor, inspiration


New liturgical year
a time to put our
houses in order

The "O Antiphons"
of Advent

Blessing of an
Advent wreath

Sister Theresa
Martin Pigott, OP

placeholder November 23, 2015   •   VOL. 53, NO. 20   •   Oakland, CA
Gift of giving

Help retired religious weather financial future

The annual Retirement Fund for Religious collection will be Dec. 12-13 in the Diocese of Oakland. Now in its 28th year, the appeal is coordinated by the National Religious Retirement Office and offers support for senior Catholic sisters, brothers and religious order priests whose communities lack sufficient retirement funding. Some 33,000 women and men religious past age 70 benefit.

Retirement collection
Dec. 12-13, second collection to aid sisters, brothers and religious order priests
More information:
The Diocese of Oakland contributed $221,110.53 to the last collection. In 2015, the Franciscan Friars received financial assistance made possible by the Retirement Fund for Religious. Women and men religious who serve or have served in the diocese but whose communities are based elsewhere may also benefit from the annual collection.

The 2014 appeal raised $28.3 million nationally, and the NRRO distributed more than $25 million in monetary support to 395 religious communities. Throughout the year, additional funding is allocated for communities with the greatest needs and for retirement planning and educational resources. Ninety-three cents of every dollar directly aids elderly religious; the remainder is used for administration and promotion of the appeal.

"We are overwhelmed by the ongoing generosity shown this appeal," said Precious Blood Sister Janice Bader, the NRRO's executive director. "Since the fund was launched in 1988, Catholics have donated $755 million to assist religious communities in caring for their elder members."

U.S. bishops initiated the collection to address the significant lack of retirement funding among U.S. religious communities. Proceeds are distributed to eligible communities to help underwrite retirement and health-care expenses.

In 2014, 66 percent of the religious communities providing data to the NRRO had a median age of 70 or older. Accompanying the higher median age is a decrease in the number of religious able to serve in compensated ministry, which further reduces the income available for eldercare.

Hundreds of religious communities also lack sufficient retirement savings, due in part to historically low compensation. "Most senior religious worked for years for small stipends and did not receive retirement benefits," said Sister Bader.

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